Ani Pachen

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Ani Pachen (translation: “Great Courage”) was born in 1933 in Tibet. When she was 17, her parents decided to marry her off – but she wasn’t down with that sh!t!  She ran away and moved in to a Buddhist Monastery (a three day journey by horse) and became a Buddhist nun.  In 1958, when her father died, she became the leader of her family clan.  She took up arms and became a warrior nun – fighting to keep the damn commies from China out of her homeland.  She led her people in guerrilla warfare for a year.  The Chinese invaders had begun desecrating monasteries and murdering Tibetan families.  She bravely led a guerrilla campaign of 600 fighters on horseback against Chinese tanks. The Chinese finally caught her and threw her in jail because she refused to renounce the Dalai Lama.  She was beaten and hung by her wrists for a week, spent a year in leg irons and was flung for nine months into solitary confinement in an unlit cell.  The last 11 years of her sentence were spent in the infamous Drapchi prison in the Tibetan capital, Lhasa.

Chinese prison is no joke either.  Ani was forced to wash stinky commie Chinese soldiers’ clothes.  Also, the prisoners had to dig earth, mix it with water to make clay, and then heat the clay to make bricks.  After the bricks were dried, prisoners had to carry 10 bricks at a time.  Ani, being a bad-ass, spent a third of her life lifting crap-loads of bricks and washing douche-bag’s dirty underwear.

She repeatedly wrote to the prison authorities that she had not visited her home in twenty years.  In 1979, she was granted permission to leave for two months because of the international exposure it gained.  Being true to her word (and not full of crap), she returned to the labor camp after two months.

anipanchen

As soon as she was released from Prison 21 years later, she went right back to her warrior ways, leading protests and demonstrations.  Having mad experience moving bricks all day, she worked along with hundreds of other Tibetan volunteers moving earth and stones from the ruins of Gaden monastery.  She was an active participant in all the three major protest demonstrations organized by the monks of Drepung, Sera and Gaden.  When she found out she was going to be put incarcerated again, she fled to the border of Tibet.  She walked for 25 days in the deep snow to escape to Nepal.

Once in exile, Ani Pachen never ceased to work for the freedom struggle.  Ani Pachen’s autobiography, Sorrow Mountain: the journey of a Tibetan warrior nun, was published in 2000.  Ani Pachen gave lectures about the tragedy in Tibet and her experiences to audiences in USA and Europe.  She had also participated in Peace Marches in various countries of the world.  Her dream to meet the Dalai Lama also finally came true.

She died, more peacefully than her tumultuous life, in 2002.

Here are the source links: http://www.radicalparty.org/tibet/ani_panchen.htm and here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ani_Pachen

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